Thiel shows commitment to New Zealand by spending 12 days in it

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, June 29th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, national, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

This must be bring out your dead week.  The ongoing Todd Barclay saga is such that there is almost no news that could replace it.  But this particular release will I am sure will attract a lot of attention.

I blogged about the grant of citizenship to Peter Thiel earlier this year.  My post said this:

dump of papers at 5 pm on a Wednesday the same day that the election date is announced is a somewhat cynical abuse of the OIA system.  But that is what happened.  Yesterday at 5 pm the papers relating to Peter Thiel’s grant of citizenship were released.

And what an unusual picture they paint.  Mr Thiel did not qualify for a grant of citizenship.  To do so he is meant to actually live in the country for a reasonably substantial amount of time and it appears he has spent only limited amounts of time here.  But he thought that his incredible wealth and his generosity ought to qualify him for a grant of citizenship.  His entreprenuial skill incuded investing in Facebook and creating Paypal and writing Xero a big cheque.  He claimed that being a New Zealand citizen would “enable him to represent the country on the international stage and give him greater confidence in mobilising New Zealand’s talented entrepreneurs”.

It was recommended by the Department that his application be approved and it was.

DIA blanked out the number of days that Thiel actually spent in New Zealand.  He was meant to spend 1,350 days or about 74% of the time in New Zealand.  For some reason DIA thought the information should not be released.

The reason offered was to protect the privacy of a natural person.  All sorts of other information concerning him was released including the fact that he had visited New Zealand four times.

Radio New Zealand took the matter to the Ombudsman and he stated that the public interest in the matter clearly outweighed Thiel’s right to privacy.  The information has been released today.

How many days did Thiel spend in New Zealand during the past 5 years?

Drum roll …

12.

He was in New Zealand 0.6575% of the time.  I repeat that normal policy required him to be in New Zealand at least 74% of the time.

What has he done for New Zealand to deserve such exceptional treatment?

  • He did make a $1 million donation to the Prime Minister’s Canterbury Earthquake fund.
  • He entered into a joint venture with the Government where he invested under $7 million and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund put in $9 million.  Then when the price of Xero shares purchased by the JV spiked Thiel was able to invoke the buyout clause and pay the NZVIF out essentially at cost netting him $23 million.  Kaching.
  • He bought sensitive land in Queenstown.  The grant of citizenship meant he did not have to worry about Overseas Investment Office scrutiny.
  • I am not aware of any occasion where he has utilised his skill to help New Zealand or New Zealanders as was claimed in his application for citizenship.

You have to wonder why the information was withheld, particularly as the number of times he had visited New Zealand was disclosed.  Political embarassment is not and should never be grounds for withholding official information.

48 comments on “Thiel shows commitment to New Zealand by spending 12 days in it”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Doesnt NZ citizenship allow him to donate to national political parties ?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    What needs to be done now is find out if a bribe was enacted so that the law would be broken in his favour.

    • Craig H 2.1

      The law wasn’t broken – the Minister of Internal Affairs is entitled to grant citizenship to anyone (not to defend the grant of citizenship in this case as being anything other than BS, mind).

  3. Dirty and even dirtier. I can’t stand this corruptlike situation – it must be sorted.

  4. McFlock 4

    heh. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – the blacked-out bit is only three digits long, including a space after the number. You couldn’t fit four digits in there by any stretch 🙂

    12 is taking the piss. To be resident in a country, surely you need time to unpack before leaving again?

    edit: apparently not, if you’re obscenely wealthy

    • Andre 4.1

      I guess with enough money you can establish “virtual residence”. Better than the real thing!

    • Bearded Git 4.2

      12 days over 4 visits….that means 8 days arriving and departing and 4 complete days.

  5. Sabine 5

    One of the hardest thing for migrants into NZ is the requirement to not to leave NZ on your 1 year visa or else loose the visa. So if you want to go from your ‘working visa’ for one year status to the two year visa – returning visa holder status you must stay put.
    Once you get the two year visa you must stay at a minimum 6 month +1 day per year, for many that is then the first time they would plan to travel overseas to visit family again. Once you have passed that two year hurdle and and can supply evidence that you have spend the required amount of time in NZ you can file for permanent residence.
    Oh my, it must be so much fun to have money.

    • Sabine 5.1

      to add, and then after a few years on a permanent residence visa years one can file for citizen ship.

      So really it can take several years to go from migrant to Citizen.

      He really did get a lot of bang for his petty cash, did he not?

    • Craig H 5.2

      Most visas, including all Working Holidays, have travel conditions, so they can come and go as much as they please these days.

      • Sabine 5.2.1

        if this has changed its good.
        when i got my first visa it was clearly stated that this visa expires the day i leave the country irrespective of teh natural expiry date of the visa.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Money talks in NZ especially if you have plenty of it, in the USA they call it
    “pay to play” ?

    • mary_a 6.1

      @ Tamati Tautuhi (6) … I call it bribery and corruption. Nastyanal party is saturated in it!

  7. tc 7

    Another great example of national having a price on pretty much everything.

    Looks like petey is in the club as not only did he get citizenship but also cut into a great deal to help with his moving costs, how convenient.

  8. silvertuatara 8

    And all the while the number of homeless in New Zealand keeps climbing.

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    A fellow Bilderberger along with JK, Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas ?

  10. ianmac 10

    Matt Nippet has a deadpan report on Theil. Says it is legal with barely a twitch.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11883554

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      That article starts off with a lie. It says he got citizenship after a two week holiday when in truth he merely passed through four times.

  11. mary_a 11

    The Thiel citizenship case goes to prove the Nastyanal party is corrupt through and through in everything it touches!

    I’d be interested to know what the deal was to grant someone citizenship after “residing” in NZ only 12 days and even then that was broken up into four visits I think!

  12. mauī 12

    Whoop go Pete! What a star. When does he get his knighthood.

  13. frankie and benjy 13

    Who was the minister at the time?
    I forget and I’m sure they will have shuffled jobs to avoid calls for resignation or answering further questions etc.

    • It was ‘what’s his name’, that shadow we kept seeing behind Key …. Nathan Guy
      Who has had ‘Nathan Guy’ loves (or likes?) The Otaki cycle track- billboards up around his electorate for at least 6 weeks now as a bit of tax payer funded pre election non campaigning bullshit, just like Winny and his seabed billboards
      I suggested to the Labour guy that someone should paint Peter Thiel in pink letters across Guys ‘privilaged’ preelection crap
      Rod at least had a laugh

  14. Malcolm Hall 14

    He’s a big Trump supporter etc. But when Hair Twitler REALLY screws things up and it all finally hits the fan in the northern hemisphere, Thiel can hop aboard his private jet, refuel in Hawaii and head straight to NZ. His bolthole in Queenstown should escape the worst of any global disaster. It’s only fair really….

  15. Gabby 15

    xero guy got his 3o second free ad spot, Nothing Guy got the tapes back.

  16. Paul Campbell 16

    So I have a question – the original document said “because he was in NZ as a permanent resident for 12 days in those years”

    Did he really go to all the trouble of acquiring a permanent residency visa for just a 12 day stay?

    • Craig H 16.1

      Under the Investor 1 category I believe (same as Kim Dotcom and James Cameron) – being a NZ resident is one of the citizenship criteria.

  17. Philj 17

    “It’s a great big club and you, and I, ain’t in it” – George Carlin

  18. saveNZ 18

    Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

    “In a 2009 essay called The Education of a Libertarian, Thiel declared that capitalism and democracy had become incompatible. Since 1920, he argued, the creation of the welfare state and “the extension of the franchise to women” had made the American political system more responsive to more people – and therefore more hostile to capitalism. Capitalism is not “popular with the crowd”, Thiel observed, and this means that as democracy expands, the masses demand greater concessions from capitalists in the form of redistribution and regulation.

    The solution was obvious: less democracy. But in 2009, Thiel despaired of achieving this goal within the realm of politics. How could you possibly build a successful political movement for less democracy?

    Fast forward two years, when the country was still slowly digging its way out of the financial crisis. In 2011, Thiel told George Packer that the mood of emergency made him “weirdly hopeful”. The “failure of the establishment” had become too obvious to ignore, and this created an opportunity for something radically new, “something outside the establishment”, to take root.

    Now, in 2016, Thiel has finally found a politician capable of seizing that opportunity: a disruptor-in-chief who will destroy a dying system and build a better one in its place. Trump isn’t just a flamethrower for torching a rotten establishment, however – he’s the fulfillment of Thiel’s desire to build a successful political movement for less democracy.

    A Trump administration would diminish democracy, lending credibility to white supremacy and ultranationalism
    Trump is openly campaigning on the idea that American democracy should belong to fewer people.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/donald-trump-steve-bannon-peter-thiel-214490

  19. saveNZ 19

    Peter Thiel is a scary individual who does not believe in government and democracy. In his application according to Wiki he never intended to live in NZ, so the question remains why is the National government grovelling to get his citizenship including the commercially inappropriate sweetheart deal’ in which he netted 22 million profit as well as giving away NZ citizenship even though Thiel did not meet the criteria, already has 2 different citizenships with EU and USA and was never going to live here.

    It seems being on the board of directors of Facebook has a lot of electioneering benefits. Social media harvesting helped Trump and Brexit.

    As does the Palantir technologies which is a big data analysis company that is used by the US counter terrorism and financial industries.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/04/nigel-oakes-cambridge-analytica-what-role-brexit-trump

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

  20. mary_a 20

    Another bankroller and voter for the vile sleaze that is the Natzianal party to keep them in business!

  21. saveNZ 21

    If the left want to win against the rising right using dubious fear based social media individualised techniques, then the left need to dig a little deeper and get away from piecemeal policy and back to the basics human rights for all.

    Voters around the world are feeling increasingly uneasy about the erosion of democracy and human rights into a new capitalist model fuelled by billionaires like Thiel who have the social media tools to get their unpopular righties into power using individualised propaganda.

    Remember what caused the massive turn of popularity to Corbyn? It was when Theresa started talking about getting rid of human rights and that was followed by an example of that, with a fire in social housing that should never have occurred in a decent society.

    Human rights beat money, economy and capitalism….

    If Labour and Greens want to beat National they need to address the rise of the far right, anti government, anti regulation rhetoric.

    Things are not fair any more in this country and around the world and the Panama papers, Pike River and Canterbury water take over, Supercity are all examples when people’s rights are being railroaded and a two tier society being created.

  22. Red 22

    I can’t see the the down side side here Theil simply asked for citizenship on the basis of the the benifitd he could bring to nz re network and influence on the world stsge thus win win for both nz and Thiel , no big deal, it’s not about comparing his application to joe average citizen application, the law provide for special cases, he is one, end of story

    • marty mars 22.1

      yep real special – got lots of money – wow – bow down to the hero. 12 days mate does not a summer make – he isn’t special he is privileged and got the the gnats all goo goo ga ga with his big wallet – shows what utter dims they are.

    • saveNZ 22.2

      Yes Red, Billionaire Trump supporter Thiel are welcome to NZ citizenship! Soon we can divide our country into race and gender like the USA, Trump style, so busy fighting each other, government can ceed control to billionaire corporations, reduce democracy, and we have a brave new world.

      Not really one that most people will want to live in, however.

  23. Caltha Obtusa 23

    Thiel is a political donor and manipulator.
    A million to the Chch. rebuild is peanuts to him.
    My concern is that he will find a way to fund the National Party through 3rd parties – as Cambridge Analytica has done with Aggregate IQ. (in Canada and therefore outside of the legal jurisdiction of the countries being manipulated) . And also use his vast IT data base with Palantir to twist our politics.
    Making money from NZ citizenship is not his interest. He’s a multi billionaire. His interest, like Mercer with Cambridge Analytica, is whether he can manipulate a whole country through data harvesting (thankyou Facebook) then using that data to influence a whole population. It is simply a game to him and NZ is a small enough country for him to succeed.
    He’s a dangerous person to NZ.
    You can be quite sure he will find hidden ways to support and fund the political party that gave him citizenship.

  24. Dave 24

    so a person some of you voted for (a lot of you didn’t vote for) gets to say who comes in to the country and who doesn’t and of cause he would know best because he was elected cool

  25. KJT 25

    Cost NZ millions. Gets citizenship.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11794020

    No different from “steal millions, get a knighthood” I suppose.

    Or. Cost NZ billions, playing with our currency. Become Prime Minister.

    • Andre 25.1

      Strictly speaking it seems to be the other way around. Got citizenship, then suckered the millions from the taxpayer.

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    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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